Two protests took place in Venezuela on April 6th – one in support of the opposition, while the other against imperialism and in support of the Maduro government.
US-Proclaimed President Juan Guaido praised the turnout at the opposition-organized protest.
Hoy quedó en evidencia que Venezuela perdió el miedo. Hemos hablado muy claro: estamos unidos y movilizados.
La victoria es de Venezuela, de la democracia, y falta poco para que juntos la conquistemos en las calles.
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) April 7, 2019
“It was evident Today that Venezuela lost its fear. We Have spoken very clearly: we are united and mobilized. The victory is from Venezuela, from democracy, and we are close enough to conquer it in the streets together. Of Course Our country is worth it, #VamosVenezuela”
This followed a decision by the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) of Venezuela from April 2nd, in which it approved a decree to revoke Juan Guaido’s political immunity and to continue prosecution against him for leaving the country despite a ban by the Supreme Court and for inciting violance.
The president of the ANC, Diosdado Cabello, read the decree authorizing “the prosecution of the citizen Juan Gerardo Antonio Guaido Marquez (…) in accordance with the provisions of Article 200 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”.
“The continuation of the trial is formally authorized and that our justice, in accordance with the Constitution and the law, is in charge of applying the mechanisms established in the different criminal procedural codes.”
US National Security Adviser John Bolton also continued his usual rhetoric.
Maduro must listen to the booming voices of the Venezuelan people, accept Interim President Guaido’s offer of amnesty, and stand out of the way of a democratic transition in Venezuela. The world is watching. pic.twitter.com/SsBYuG0zgb
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) April 6, 2019
He also called on Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez to uphold his duty to protect the Venezuelan people from alleged Cuban or “colectivo” violence.
General @vladimirpadrino: All eyes are on you today. Hold the Venezuelan military to its Constitutional responsibility to protect innocent civilians who are peacefully demonstrating. Do not let the Cubans or the ‘colectivos’ inflict violence against Venezuelan patriots.
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) April 6, 2019
On the side of the government led by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, there also appeared to be turnout in his numbers at the march “against Imperialism.”
Maduro also presented the “Plan de la Patria,” a 2019-2025 plan for economic recovery to face down US sanctions.
#EnVivo 📹 | El Pueblo venezolano llega al Palacio del Pueblo, en marcha antiimperialista, para hacerme entrega de la Ley Constituyente del Plan de la Patria 2019-2025, aprobada por nuestra plenipotenciaria Asamblea Nacional Constituyente. https://t.co/tnKq9OrxeH
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) April 6, 2019
On April 5th, the US Treasury sanctioned the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, the PdVSA, by blocking 34 of its vessels.
Treasury sanctions companies operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy and transporting oil to Cuba https://t.co/embRDwNov6
— Treasury Department (@USTreasury) April 5, 2019
This is a result of the OFAC identifying one of the vessels as transporting crude oil from Venezuela to Cuba, despite the opposition-controlled National Assembly voting to ban all such transfers.
“Despina Andrianna is a crude oil tanker (IMO: 9182667) that delivered crude oil from Venezuela to Cuba during February and March of 2019.”
“Cuba has been an underlying force fueling Venezuela’s descent into crisis. Treasury is taking action against vessels and entities transporting oil, providing a lifeline to keep the illegitimate Maduro regime afloat,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “Cuba continues to profit from, and prop up, the illegitimate Maduro regime through oil-for-repression schemes as they attempt to keep Maduro in power. The United States remains committed to a transition to democracy in Venezuela and to holding the Cuban regime accountable for its direct involvement in Venezuela’s demise.”
In response to the sanctions, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza condemned the actions and said that “while the U.S. government boasts of defending economic and commercial principles, it announced sanctions today against Venezuelan vessels and transportation in order to affect the delivery of oil to its sister Republic of Cuba.”
He also posted an official statement by the Venezuelan government categorically rejecting the new round of US economic attacks.
El Gobierno de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela rechaza categóricamente el nuevo ataque del Gobierno de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica contra la industria petrolera venezolana y su soberanía económica. Comunicado Oficial: pic.twitter.com/7dRV9VJqDW
— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) April 6, 2019
“The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela categorically rejects the new attack by the Government of the United States of America against the Venezuelan oil industry and its economic sovereignty.”
Arreaza called the sanctions a violation of the country’s “most basic economic and commercial rights, and questions how “a member-country of the World Trade Organization” and so-called “defender of liberal principles” would impose such measures.
“[The sanctions] aim to do harm, not only to the countries of Venezuela and Cuba, but also the businesses and commercial associations that should instead benefit from international protection,” Arreaza added.
This all followed an order by Maduro to set the Venezuelan military on high alert, after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov vowed that “Venezuela will not become 2nd Syria.”
Furthermore, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Assad likened the two countries and said that they both fight against US imperialism and that neither would lose against it.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Assad Meets Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Says Venezuela And Syria Are Facing Similar Attacks
- Maduro Places Military On High Alert As Lavrov Declares That ‘Venezuela Won’t Become 2nd Syria’